Professional, Originally Released On Cassette Only
Game Type : Arcade; Monochrome Search And Solve Puzzles
Authors : Wayne Dobson & Richard Paul Jones
Standalone Release(s) : 1988: JOE BLADE, Players, £1.99
Compilation Release(s) : None
Stated compatibility : Electron/BBC Dual Version
Actual compatibility : Electron, BBC B, B+ and Master 128
Supplier : PLAYERS, Mercury House, Calleva Park, Aldermastn,
BERKS RG7 4QW
Disc compatibility : CDFS E00
"Terrorists have kidnapped six world leaders. You, Joe Blade, their only hope, must enter Bloodfinger's base, liberate the hostages, prime the explosives and make your escape. Produced by Richard Paul Jones of Players 1988."
In an ambitious raid, a gang of vicious terrorists led by the infamous Crax Bloodfinger have kidnapped six world leaders, demanding thirty billion dollars ransom for their safe release.
Of course, the governments concerned have refused to pay and as the deadline draws nigh they decide to take the only course of action left open to them: SEND IN JOE BLADE.
Joe Blade - teenage pin and pop idol, trained in a Tibetan monastery. Mean, tough and fearless, his very name strikes fear into the cold hearts of every gangster, assassin and drug baron.
You are Joe Blade...
Armed with only a light semi-automatic machine gun, you must infiltrate Bloodfinger's massive fortified HQ, situated in an un-named Central American country.
Bloodfinger's base is heavily guarded by his private uniformed army and underworld henchmen, contact with thich will drain your strength.
The stronghold is also protected by six booby-trapped explosive devices, all of which must be activated giving you twenty minutes to find the hostages and reach the exit before they detonate, destroying the fortress.
To activate these explosives, you have to rearrange the access code into alphabetical order using left, right and fire to swap the letters.
Scattered around are various pieces of equipment and supplies that may be used to your advantage.
Z - Left, X - Right, : - Through door/jump, / - Through door.
<RETURN> - Fire
Instructions' Source : JOE BLADE (Players) Back and Inner Inlay
Review (Electron User) - "Joe To The Rescue"
In this arcade adventure from Players you take the part of the man of steel of the game's title - JOE BLADE. Brought up in a Tibetan monastery, and a pop idol and teenage pin-up to boot, you are a tough, fearless character whose very name strikes terror in the heart of all gangsters, assassins and terrorists.
With references like these you are the ideal person to take on a rescue mission for the government which is being blackmailed for 30 billion dollars by Crax Bloodfinger. This dastardly character has kidnapped six world leaders and is currently holding them for ransom in his massive fortified HQ somewhere in Central America.
You head for his hideout armed with just a semi-automatic machine gun, and the game starts as you are about to enter. Making your way through the nearest conveniently open door you enter Bloodfinger's HQ to be confronted by an armed guard.
Not surprisingly, it turns out that the place is crawling with them, but they are no match for Joe Blade, and a quick blast with your machine gun soon disposes of anyone who gets in your way.
Quickly dashing from room to room you discover that most of the doors are locked, but fortunately several keys have been left lying around by absent minded guards, and these can be put to good use. You'll find other useful items of equipment too, like food and drink, and a guard's uniform that can be used as a disguise.
Eventually you will discover one of six booby trapped bombs which must be activated before you escape with the hostages in order to destroy Bloodfinger's base. On encountering a bomb the game switches to a puzzle screen which consists of the letters A to E printed in random order. Two letters at a time can be exchanged and the object is to sort them into alphabetical order.
The graphics are superbly detailed and are drawn in glorious Mode 4 monochrome. The lack of colour doesn't spoil the game, and the backgrounds and sprites are very impressive. Joe Blade and the enemy characters walk quite convincingly in front of the background and other objects on the screen giving the display a good feeling of depth.
Only about one third of the screen is used as the playing area and the action is shown side on. You walk left or right, and can enter doors into or out of the screen. You can also jump, but I haven't found a need for this yet as you can't leap on top of any of the objects lying around.
The sound is fairly primitive, merely consisting of a beep when Joe walks or fires his gun. Apart from this I found it a very enjoyable game, and one that I will play for quite some time to come.
* * * Second Opinion * * * (Electron User)
The graphics are excellent, but I wish Players would improve that appalling sound. Surely it wouldn't be too difficult to add a short tune or a few more sound effects? In spite of this, I still found it an enjoyable escapade and it deserves to do well.
Sound ........................... 6
Graphics ........................ 9
Playability ..................... 8
Value for money ................. 9
Overall ......................... 8
"Electron User Golden Game"
ELECTRON USER 6. 3